Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

‘Very high standards’ for Rori Harmon, Texas women’s basketball

Assad Malik
Rori Harmon attempts to score against Texas Tech on Feb 8. 2022. Texas defeated Texas Tech 80 – 71.

Named the “focal point on both ends of the floor” by The Athletic, junior guard Rori Harmon heads into her third season at Texas ready to bounce back from the Longhorns’ March Madness heartbreak. 

“There are very high standards, and I’m glad to see that since the majority of us have been together going into our second year,” Harmon said. “The expectations are a lot higher because they see what we’ve done and what we’re capable of.”

Harmon goes into the practice facility an hour before practice and on weekends to practice her shots. When shooting with someone else, Harmon said she averages around 200 shots, while at solo practices she averages 400.

“When you work on something like that your confidence gets better and you just let it go without even thinking,” she said. 

As the season starts, all eyes will be on Harmon, who was called an “obvious name in the small circle of the most elite point guards in the country” in a recent Athletic article. With that title inducing pressure for the collegiate point guard, Harmon gives credit to her parents for the way she is able to manage it.

“I firmly believe my parents were the main reason for how I handle things so well with pressure,” Harmon said. “I like that responsibility, knowing that I’m the leader of the team, and it’s just a blessing to be able to do it.”

Harmon started the 2022 season on the bench after suffering a foot injury. For her recovery, she would find an extra 30 minutes between class and practice to get mobility and strength training done with performance coach Zack Zillner.

“Rori (is) the same person you see on the court,” Zillner said to KXAN in February. “She’s tough and tenacious. Anything to get that 1% better.”

Despite missing the first five games of the last season, she earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team in her sophomore year. Harmon was one of two players in the country to average at least 11 points per game, over seven assists and over five rebounds per game.

“Nobody, in my mind, does what she does for 40 minutes,” head coach Vic Schaefer said to The Athletic in February. “She rarely comes off the floor… Somehow, someway, she’s doing something that impacts the play on either end of the floor.”

With a large number of players returning from the previous season, some might be afraid of bringing back old bad team habits, but Harmon disagrees and sees these habits as a starting point for improvement.

“Looking at the (Big 12 Regular Season Champions) sign from last year, I can’t really think of a negative,” Harmon said. “I believe they’re a positive thing. Like okay, we have these habits. What can we do to work around it? What can we do to fix it?”

Twelve out of the 16 players on the 2023 roster were part of the 2022 regular season champion team. 

“I think we’re closer than ever,” Harmon said. “We do a lot of team bonding, there’s so many things you can be grateful for when you get the majority of your team back.”

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About the Contributor
Assad Malik, Photo Editor
Assad Malik is a sophomore RTF major at UT and serves as the Photo Editor for The Daily Texan.